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How do you diffuse attention seeking behavior


kawasaku

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“I’m so fat”

“No you’re not! I am!”

“I’m so ugly”

“I’m uggo bean”

“I’ll never find a mommy/daddy” / “ill never find a boyfriend/girlfriend”

“I’m destined to be alone”

 

This happens a lot in group conversations I have anywhere, not just in ddlg groups. How do you deal? It makes me uncomfortable and I usually just stay silent. Serious and non-serious suggestions welcome.

Edited by kawasaku
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"Shut up, no one cares" usually does the trick. 99.99% of the time, its the same people curving people trying to be friends and help because then they dont get to complain anymore. They wanna be miserable.
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Guest LittleSnowiii

I ignore or I'll tell them I won't play that game. Is one of my pet peeves honestly, and I actually ended up cutting people from my life because of it (when is constant). Is just a waist of time and never understood why people do it.

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Depends... In my honest opinion I call them out after awhile. I understand some people need legit validation and sometimes resort to this but when a person constantly seeks the attention in the same negative way over and over, I can't help but to interject. I have been known to say stuff (on different sites) along the lines of:

- Well, if you don't think your [issue] is great then you're right. No one else will.
- So you're here because you're feeling insecure and want a bunch of strangers to validate your appearance? Gotcha.
- You know forcing people to focus on you is entirely selfish. But please, do go on.

I don't like being rude, but when I was younger I was snippy. :p

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Guest QueenJellybean

if i can't stand ignoring it after a while, i take a page out of my therapist's book.


"you're the only one who feels that way, and saying out loud isn't going to make anyone agree with you or argue it. 


so really, the only person who you are encouraging is yourself and you aren't ever going to get the result you want."


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if i can't stand ignoring it after a while, i take a page out of my therapist's book.

"you're the only one who feels that way, and saying out loud isn't going to make anyone agree with you or argue it. 

so really, the only person who you are encouraging is yourself and you aren't ever going to get the result you want."

*Steals this*

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How do you deal? It makes me uncomfortable and I usually just stay silent.

 

When one's words are no better than silence, one should remain silent.  You've got the correct answer, now if only you could stop feeling guilty over doing the right thing... ;)

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if i can't stand ignoring it after a while, i take a page out of my therapist's book.

"you're the only one who feels that way, and saying out loud isn't going to make anyone agree with you or argue it. 

so really, the only person who you are encouraging is yourself and you aren't ever going to get the result you want."

 

 

While I think this is a wonderful response coming from a therapist (truly I do), he or she is being paid to interact with us.  I do wonder what others get from associating with people who put them in such a situation repeatedly.  Not being snippy at all - I really don't get it.

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When one's words are no better than silence, one should remain silent.  You've got the correct answer, now if only you could stop feeling guilty over doing the right thing... ;)

I hope I read this wrong, so please correct me if I did. Are you telling a fellow member to stay silent when she feels uncomfortable?

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I hope I read this wrong, so please correct me if I did. Are you telling a fellow member to stay silent when she feels uncomfortable?

 

Well, technically it is Lao Tzu telling her to stay silent, but yes.  Her discomfort is not due to what is being said.  Her discomfort is a result of her reaction to what is being said.  One of those two things she has control over.  One she doesn't.  Examining her own reaction (discomfort) and the reasons for that discomfort is the only course that will lead to a solution.

 

P.S. Most sources will attribute the saying to Confucius, who certainly popularized it, but Lao Tzu came first. :)

Edited by SamL
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Well, technically it is Lao Tzu telling her to stay silent, but yes.  Her discomfort is not due to what is being said.  Her discomfort is a result of her reaction to what is being said.  One of those two things she has control over.  One she doesn't.  Examining her own reaction (discomfort) and the reasons for that discomfort is the only course that will lead to a solution.

 

P.S. Most sources will attribute the saying to Confucius, who certainly popularized it, but Lao Tzu came first. :)

That quote is completely irrelevant though. In this case, one's words are NOT better than silence. When it is abundantly clear someone is behaving like an attention seeker, they should get called out on it.

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Well, technically it is Lao Tzu telling her to stay silent, but yes.  Her discomfort is not due to what is being said.  Her discomfort is a result of her reaction to what is being said.  One of those two things she has control over.  One she doesn't.  Examining her own reaction (discomfort) and the reasons for that discomfort is the only course that will lead to a solution.

 

P.S. Most sources will attribute the saying to Confucius, who certainly popularized it, but Lao Tzu came first. :)

No, her discomfort is because of what is being said, and rightfully so. The negativity does impact others in the group and puts a major downer on everyone else. I actively encourage anyone to speak up if they're uncomfortable so we are able to move the topic along.

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No, her discomfort is because of what is being said, and rightfully so. The negativity does impact others in the group and puts a major downer on everyone else. I actively encourage anyone to speak up if they're uncomfortable so we are able to move the topic along.

 

I'm not seeking to argue with you, but could you clarify a couple of things so that I can better understand your perspective?

How does not feeding the behavior stop the conversation from moving along?  Conversely, how does addressing, 'I'm so fat!' or "I'll always be alone!" move the conversation along?  It is part of a belief system and trying to change that is, in my opinion, about as likely as trying to change the Jehovah Witnesses mind who showed up on your doorstep last Sunday.

 

As an addendum, I am not sufficiently socially savvy to know what the acceptable response to this conversation is:

 

"I will never find a Daddy!"

"Of course you will, just be patient, the perfect Daddy is out there for you."

 

The first line is an example of what the OP was talking about.  The second line borders on patronizing.  Millions of people will die alone without ever having found that special someone.  Perhaps billions.  I've always believed that one of the reasons that such a line doesn't immediately change a person's mood is because they know this instinctively, but it's somehow poor manners to point out that someone is just saying things to try and make a person feel better even as long as they don't look too deeply at the logic.  So, I know you can't hear voice inflection, but I'm being sincere, how do I handle it if this type of smoke being blown up someone's backside bothers me?

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That quote is completely irrelevant though. In this case, one's words are NOT better than silence. When it is abundantly clear someone is behaving like an attention seeker, they should get called out on it.

 

Why?  This is a place people come to for relaxation, fun - and as is repeatedly said, to find their forever daddy/mommy/little/etc.  This is not their counselors office.  I mean, I get it...I don't have friends, I have caseloads.  And I don't have relationships, I have hostage situations (in which I am the hostage)...but as I am repeatedly told by my own counselor - not my job.

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Guest Revurx

I ignore such behavior on here but irl I address it immediately. I normally tell them self-degradation and attention seeking are unbecoming, self-centered, and tiresome. Sometimes I'll also ask certain questions that results in them acknowledging why they're doing it. Lastly, If they don't correct the behavior I stop interacting with them. 

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Why?  This is a place people come to for relaxation, fun - and as is repeatedly said, to find their forever daddy/mommy/little/etc.  This is not their counselors office.  I mean, I get it...I don't have friends, I have caseloads.  And I don't have relationships, I have hostage situations (in which I am the hostage)...but as I am repeatedly told by my own counselor - not my job.

Yeah..youre kinda making my point for me. People who behave like that, often put a damper on the overall mood. I would like to add that (ofcourse) context is critical. If someone says something among the lines of "i will never find a daddy" and i do not know them, nor have i heard them say it before, i dont mind handing out some encouragement. Theres plenty of other scenarios that come to mind in which it makes sense for someone to have this negative outlook on themselves. But if there is no context and it is CLEARLY a case of attention seeking, i do not hesitate to call people out.

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I'm not seeking to argue with you, but could you clarify a couple of things so that I can better understand your perspective?

How does not feeding the behavior stop the conversation from moving along?  Conversely, how does addressing, 'I'm so fat!' or "I'll always be alone!" move the conversation along?  It is part of a belief system and trying to change that is, in my opinion, about as likely as trying to change the Jehovah Witnesses mind who showed up on your doorstep last Sunday.

 

As an addendum, I am not sufficiently socially savvy to know what the acceptable response to this conversation is:

 

"I will never find a Daddy!"

"Of course you will, just be patient, the perfect Daddy is out there for you."

 

The first line is an example of what the OP was talking about.  The second line borders on patronizing.  Millions of people will die alone without ever having found that special someone.  Perhaps billions.  I've always believed that one of the reasons that such a line doesn't immediately change a person's mood is because they know this instinctively, but it's somehow poor manners to point out that someone is just saying things to try and make a person feel better even as long as they don't look too deeply at the logic.  So, I know you can't hear voice inflection, but I'm being sincere, how do I handle it if this type of smoke being blown up someone's backside bothers me?

I'm not arguing with you in the slightest. It is a fact that if any of our members feel uncomfortable in any situation they should speak up. They don't even have to speak up themselves, they're more than welcome to message myself or another staff member if they feel uncomfortable in chat for example, and we'll ask chat to move along on their behalf.

 

And I don't understand your questions.

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It depends on the exact situation. Sometimes I ignore it and sometimes I address it. I think a lot of people who say things like "I'm so ugly" or "I always mess up" actually believe it. These are learned behaviors and learned thoughts. No baby thinks anything about their appearance or whether they're doing something "wrong".

 

I generally try to avoid direct contradictions, like "no, you're pretty" or "no, you'll find someone". These statements won't change anything and are analogous to telling the person you don't care how they feel. It's just like when a child is afraid of the dark and you tell him/her "stop crying. There's nothing to be afraid of." Obviously you want the child to stop crying because it's annoying you and you don't really care if he/she feels afraid. Many, many parents do this (not necessarily on purpose - they just don't know what else to do).

 

Everybody needs love. Everybody needs attention. I don't know what kind of environment this person lives in. Are their parents emotionally stunted and always dismissed their cries for attention so now they beg for it on the internet? Did they have adults in their lives often negatively compare them to other children?

 

If I choose to respond to somebody saying negative things about themselves, I respond from a place of love rather than annoyance. I might say "I send love your way and hope you feel better about yourself soon" or "who told you you're ugly? They lied. You have a body that you can dance in, smile in, hug someone in." Or "don't compromise yourself just to get a boyfriend/girlfriend. Somebody out there is looking for someone just like you, and wouldn't it be a shame if they don't find you because you're pretending to be someone else?"

 

I don't argue with people. Even if they reject what I'm saying now doesn't mean they won't think about it later. Don't we all remember a time when we were finally ready to take the advice of someone who advised us years previously?

 

If you don't feel comfortable responding to somebody, you don't have to. But I like to at least tell people I care about them. Who knows whose life I could change around? My personal life purpose is to spread love and peace and I intend to do it. :)

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  • 1 month later...

I have seriously low selfesteam but I try to be positive on websites. I grew up with people telling me on and off that if I spoke like that it was like a "poor me". I'm sorry people go through it though but to me all that sounds like that person's depressed and needs to find better words to address how said person feels. I admit I catch myself once in a blue moon being this way but try really hard to not be a negative Nelly. No one likes them so I try to help them best I can. I dont do it anymore really but when I have bad days ( I have savior depression) I sometimes catch myself "poor me(ing)" as my mom would put it.

 

Ps sorry for my spelling

I have seriously low selfesteam but I try to be positive on websites. I grew up with people telling me on and off that if I spoke like that it was like a "poor me". I'm sorry people go through it though but to me all that sounds like that person's depressed and needs to find better words to address how said person feels. I admit I catch myself once in a blue moon being this way but try really hard to not be a negative Nelly. No one likes them so I try to help the best I can. I dont do it anymore really but when I have bad days ( I have savior depression) I sometimes catch myself "poor me(ing)" as my mom would put it.

 

Ps sorry for my spelling

Edited by Yuna_Marie
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